New from BTR Games: EOKA

As work finally winds down on Colonial Twilight, I finally made the last touches to EOKA, and journeyed to the copy shop to get some copies printed out. So, the game that I originally worked out in 2010-11 is finally available!
It is the first game ever published on this small but very interesting counterinsurgency campaign.
[ETA: it now has a BGG entry too: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/214564/eoka]
EOKA: The Cyprus Emergency, 1955-59

Greek Cypriot terrorists (EOKA) vs. British occupiers (Empire). A colonial situation, with both sides working under considerable strictures of resources and time.

One 11×17″ area-movement map of Cyprus, 140 double-sided counters (when assembled). Mission-oriented system, the most ambitious development of the Shining Path/ Algeria/ Andartes system yet, with additional rules to cover the lasting effects of violence and kinetic operations and requirements for government to maintain civic infrastructure. Also includes:

  • A third faction, representing non-state militias. During the historical conflict groups of Turkish Cypriots came together to form self-defence groups to protect their villages from ethnic violence. There were also small groups of British expatriates who acted as vigilantes. They supported the government in its opposition to EOKA, but were not under its control. These groups are represented in the game by “Volkan” units (named after the main such Turkish group), that are not played by a human player but which appear on the map in response to high levels of insurgent violence and perform in accordance with a set of “automatic” rules.
  • A simple intelligence – counterintelligence subsystem, where the counterinsurgent seeks to identify the insurgent forces and anticipate their actions, while the insurgent tries to evade and cloak his presence.
  • Lastly, solitaire play rules are included for a semi-randomized British player that will allow players to learn and play the game alone.

Like other games in the “Box4” system, the main currency of victory is the Political Support Level, and the game ends when one side zeroes out.

If the Empire PSL reaches zero, it means something along the lines of a negotiated settlement has been reached among the British, Greek and Turkish governments on the future status of Cyprus. Historically, one was reached at the beginning of 1959 which decided that Cyprus would be an independent country, without ethnic partitions, and that the British would be allowed to maintain several military bases on the island.

If the EOKA PSL reaches zero, it means something like a collapse of the viability of the organization has occurred –  the Greek government decides it should no longer be supported, the population of Cyprus turns against what EOKA proposes, the security forces manage to round up or eliminate much of EOKA’s field units, etc..

The usual terms: $15 US funds, which includes postage to anywhere. I take, and prefer Paypal: please pay to brian.train@gmail.com. Like other BTR Games releases, the game comes in a comic book bag and you must mount and cut the counters yourself. (Tell you what, though, I will do that for you for an extra $35 US… a bargain, Tom Wham will charge you up to $200! http://www.tomwham.com/stuff.html)

I hope you find this one interesting!

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Western half of map. Note new layout of “4 boxes”.

 

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Section of counter sheet. Yes, I am crude. Thanks to Tom Mouat and his Mapsymbs fonts!

Balkan Gamble – short second chance!

I made up a few more copies of Balkan Gamble. Here’s your second chance to get one!

BGmbl cover

BALKAN GAMBLE

The Allied invasions of the Balkans that never happened. One of the great what-ifs of World War 2 in the Mediterranean theatre, at least to Hitler and the German High Command, was the possibility of an Allied invasion of Greece and/or Yugoslavia. The Allies knew the Germans perceived such invasions as a credible threat and created several strategic deception plans, leading the Germans to move or keep critical troop formations in northern Italy and the Balkans when they would have been much more useful somewhere else. Scenarios for 1943, 1944, 1945, and a hypothetical 1950 Soviet invasion of Yugoslavia. Uses the Autumn Mist/ Summer Lightning/ Winter Thunder system of formation activations and almost-diceless combat with mission matrix, at a larger scale: 1 week/turn; 30 km/hex; division/brigade; 17×22″ hex map and 280 double-sided counters. Many “chrome” rules to cover the fragmented human, political and physical terrain of the area.

Only TWENTY copies have been made. Most have been sold. But you can still get one!

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“Now, Maitland! Now’s your time!

The price for these is $25 each, since it has twice the map, printed (not copied) onto quality heavy stock, and twice the usual number of counters (though you still have to mount and cut them). That also makes it heavier, so postage costs more (but is still included in the cost of the game).

If you want a copy, please let me know at brian.train@gmail.com. I take, and prefer, Paypal.

Thanks!

 

Bottoscon 2015

coltwibottoscon

That bald spot of mine appears to be growing year by year.

2015 is nearly over, and another Bottoscon has come and gone (really, where has the time gone?). This was a good one, the best attended yet!

I went over on Friday with Ian Weir (Red Sash Games) and Michael Junkin. After a bite I got set up at two tables that I kept filled with my games all weekend, either being displayed or played.

There were three test games of Colonial Twilight, all played with the short (3 Propaganda Rounds) Tournament Scenario: Friday with Andrew Laws and Stephen Graham (all 3 rounds, Government Victory on final  round), Saturday with Mike Mahoney and Rick Smith (all 3 rounds, FLN closer to victory point than Government on final round), and Sunday with Hjalmar Gerber and Richard Douziech (game had to be packed up after 2nd Prop round but FLN was doing better). Players had varying degrees of prior experience with the COIN system. All agreed this was a significant departure from other COIN system games in terms of playing speed: same amount of actual action per card – two factions get to one thing  each – but with only one adversary to worry about, not three, the tempo of the game gets cranked way up. The Initiative Track, that makes the leader of the dance pass back and forth between the two players, was thought to be a clever idea.

Other games: I helped Ian Weir and Rob Bottos through most of a game of Ukrainian Crisis with the revised rules (will be uploaded shortly to this blog), and Rick Smith helped me a lot with clarity and mechanics of my latest design, The LIttle War – a mini-game on the Slovak-Hungarian border conflict of March 1939 (you mean, you didn’t know about this one?).

Acquisitions:

  • Won as a door prize, a copy of YAAH! Magazine #3, with a very nice interview of Volko Ruhnke and me by Roger Leroux on the COIN system generally, plus another long article by Roger of his impressions of the games in the system.
  • Machine of Death, a curious sort of morbid party game by David Malki!, who was at the Tableflip conference in San Francisco last October.
  • Winter Fury, a small game on two Winter War battles
  • Some back issues of Canadian Wargamers Journal with variants and things in them.
  • Sold a few copies of Andartes and Tupamaro too.

I generally go to only two conventions a year: the big Consimworld Expo in Tempe, and this local con. It’s always great to meet people, walk around and talk to other designers about their work and projects. Rob works so hard to set this con up, and everyone appreciates it.

Thanks also to GMT, One Small Step Games and Tiny Battles Publishing for being so generous with door prizes too!

Update on BTR Games

A bit more clarity on what will be happening with a few of my designs:

AVAILABLE NOW

BGmbl cover

BALKAN GAMBLE

The Allied invasions of the Balkans that never happened. One of the great what-ifs of World War 2 in the Mediterranean theatre, at least to Hitler and the German High Command, was the possibility of an Allied invasion of Greece and/or Yugoslavia. The Allies knew the Germans perceived such invasions as a credible threat and created several strategic deception plans, leading the Germans to move or keep critical troop formations in northern Italy and the Balkans when they would have been much more useful somewhere else. Scenarios for 1943, 1944, 1945, and a hypothetical 1950 Soviet invasion of Yugoslavia. Uses the Autumn Mist/ Summer Lightning/ Winter Thunder system of formation activations and almost-diceless combat with mission matrix, at a larger scale: 1 week/turn; 30 km/hex; division/brigade; 17×22″ hex map and 280 double-sided counters. Many “chrome” rules to cover the fragmented human, political and physical terrain of the area.

Only TEN copies have been made; I keep one, and the map/cover artist Kula gets one. That leaves eight, and one of those has been sold already. Also, the price for these is $25 each, since it has twice the map, printed (not copied) onto quality heavy stock (the same as used for Ian Weir’s Red Sash Games (http://redsashgames.com/), and twice the usual number of counters. This also makes it heavier, so postage (which is included in the price) is higher.

AVAILABLE SOON (but not from me)

AlgeriaOSS

ALGERIA (redux)

To come from OSS Games in 2016, as part of their Folio series. Comprehensive overhaul and revision of 1999’s Algeria: The War for Independence. Revised and streamlined rules, 17×22″ map, 140 back-printed counters, scenarios.

Winter Thunder cover

AUTUMN MIST WINTER THUNDER

Coming very soon from Tiny Battles Publishing, as noted previously. A redesign of Autumn Mist, my historical game on the Battle of the Bulge. I was getting a reputation that I only design games on obscure topics and battles. But there is an unwritten rule that every game designer has to do a Bulge game, so this one is mine. Mission Matrix idea for combat system was also used in Summer Lightning (Lock n’ Load, 2011) and Balkan Gamble. 17×22″ hex map of the Ardennes at 5 km per hex, division/brigade scale, 2 days/turn, 176 back-printed counters. Very nice new artwork!

BinDinhOSS
BINH DINH
To come from OSS Games in 2016, as part of their Folio series. Simpler game on insurgency in this coastal province of Vietnam in 1969. Originally designed for use in a university history course on 20th Century violence. Uses a one-off system rather like Green Beret’s but taken up a notch, and a bucket-of-dice combat resolution method. Like all folio games so far, 17×22″ map and 140 double-sided counters.
Cover art to come.

Cover art to come.

THIRD LEBANON WAR

To come from OSS Games in 2016/17, possibly as a boxed game or for Counterfact magazine. Original version of Next War in Lebanon, same as is freely downloadable from this website now but very nice artwork and die-cut, double-sided counters. Great if you don’t like the craft projects that are PnP games!